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Generic Name: Propylthiouracil
Product Name: Propylthiouracil


Propylthiouracil is a drug used in the treatment of conditions where excessive amounts of thyroid hormones are being produced by the thyroid gland, such as hyperthyroidism and thyrotoxicosis. It can also be used prior to surgery or radioactive iodine therapy.


Propylthiouracil is a drug that prevents the conversion of iodine to its useable form in the thyroid gland. Iodine is a chemical used by the thyroid gland in the formation of thyroid hormones, where it must be converted into its useable form before it can be combined with other components to make thyroid hormones. Propylthiouracil also acts to block the combination of converted iodine with other components to form thyroid hormones. This therefore results in decreased production of thyroid hormones.

Dose advice

Propylthiouracil may be taken with or without food. It is administered orally, and should be taken in two to four equal doses at intervals of twelve and six hours respectively.


The recommended starting dose of propylthiouracil is 200 to 400mg daily (however this may range from 100 to 1200mg) in divided doses (three doses eight hourly, or four doses six hourly) until the patient becomes euthyroid. However, patients with severe hyperthyroidism may require doses of up to 2g per day. Once this has occurred, a maintenance dose of 50 to 800mg per day in two to four divided doses may be initiated.


The recommended starting dose of propylthiouracil is calculated on 50mg/m2 body surface, three times daily. 6-10 years: May require 50 to 300mg per day in two to three divided doses. 10 years and over: 150 to 600mg per day in three divided doses. The recommended maintenance dose for children is 50 to 100mg per day, dependent on their response to the therapy.


The recommended dose is 10mg/kg bodyweight per day in divided doses.



Common side effects

The possible side effects of medicines can affect people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects known to be associated with this medicine.

  • skin rashes
  • joint pain (arthralgia)
  • yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
  • hair loss (alopecia)
  • fever

Uncommon side effects

  • inflammation of the liver (hepatitis)
  • itching (pruritis)
  • itchy rash (urticaria)
  • allergic skin reactions
  • blood disorders

For further information talk to your doctor.

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Posted On: 22 July, 2003
Modified On: 31 January, 2016


Created by: myVMC